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Rag Doll

Cheryl, Georgia, USA
October 1999

When I was four years old, one of my great aunts gave me an old homemade rag doll for my birthday. It had been hers when she was a little girl, made especially for her by her grandmother who, of course, was long dead. I loved the doll, for the only one I had was an old babydoll I'd had since the age of one. Why my great aunt had chosen to give me the doll was a puzzle, for she'd never really paid me any attention. In fact, as children often can, I sensed that she disliked me distinctly. Anyway, I felt very special to have been the recipient of such a treasured gift. I slept with the doll every night and, during the day, it had center stage on my bed.

Soon I began having very frightening dreams about the doll and the woman who'd made it which was, as I stated earlier, my great aunts grandmother. In the dreams the doll would be laying on some sort of platform, the grandmother standing over it saying things I couldn't understand. In her hand she held some sort of sharp object which she used to pierce one of her fingers, causing it to bleed. She'd then hold the pierced finger over the rag doll allowing several drops of blood to fall on it. Always, as the last drop of blood fell toward the doll I would awaken, frightened and crying, and run into my parents' bedroom, leaving the doll behind.

After several nights of the same dream, I became very frightened of the doll and threw it as far back in my closet as I could. I had the same dream again that night so the next morning I took the doll out to the shed and hid it under some ragged old quilts where no one would find it. The dreams stopped and I was happy. One day Mom, noticing the doll was gone, asked me what'd happened to it. I just shrugged my shoulders, saying I didn't know. She looked under my bed and around my room but I knew she wouldn't find it and I was glad. She opened my closet door, rummaging through it, then bent down and picked something up. When she turned towards me, the doll was in her hand. I had no idea how it'd gotten back into my room. Frightened, I looked at Mom and, wringing my hands, I said "I don't like it! I don't want it!" Mom told me I should be ashamed then lay the doll back on my bed.

The dream came again that night. The next morning I got up and took the doll back out to the shed, but this time I hid it in an old empty suitcase and latched it, hoping that would keep the doll from coming back inside. A couple of weeks went by with no dreams, and no doll. Then one day Dad went into the shed looking for a tire tool, me following close behind. He searched around inside the shed then picked up the suitcase which lay in a corner, intent on looking behind it. Somehow, the suitcase fell open and out spilled the rag doll along with the tire tool which hadn't been there when I'd hidden the doll. I gasped as Dad picked up the doll and gently shoved it at me saying "How in the world did this get in here?" I shrugged my shoulders and took the doll from his hand, feeling as if the doll were laughing at me. Not knowing what else to do, I took it back inside to my room and threw it in a corner on the floor then quickly left the room.

I went to the closed in back porch where Mom was washing clothes. The soap powders were sitting on the floor beside the washing machine. Somehow I managed to knock them over. Mom scolded me and sent me back to my room where I screamed upon entering, for the rag doll, which had been on the floor in a corner of the room, was on my bed propped against the pillow in a sitting position and facing the door as if watching for someone to enter. Mom came running, "What's wrong?!" she shouted. Hysterical, I grabbed the hellish doll and flung it to the floor. "I don't want it!" I shouted, tears streaming down my face, "Give it back! Give it back! I don't want it anymore! I hate it! I hate it!" Telling me to just calm down, Mom hugged me and, promising to give the doll back to my great aunt, she said, "Okay honey, we'll take the doll back right now if you want. But what are you so afraid of?" she asked. Getting no answer, she told me to put my sweater on and we would take the rag doll 0 back.

My great aunt accepted the doll back with a secretive grin, as if she'd known exactly why we'd brought it back. While we were there, she went to the living room closet and took out a dusty leather case with a lock on it. She placed the doll inside, locked it, and put it back in the closet. We said our goodbyes and Mom and I left. We never heard from my great aunt again.

She died four years later. When her things were cleaned out of her house, there was no sign of the leather case or the rag doll. To this day no one knows what happened to it. For some reason though, I believe my great aunt buried them somewhere on her property. Even so, I don't care to know for sure. As long as I never have to lay eyes on it again, I'll be happy.....

Hope you enjoyed the story,

Cheryl, Georgia, USA
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